Summit Great Northern Porter - Summit Brewing Company

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Summit Great Northern PorterSummit Great Northern Porter

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BA SCORE
87
very good

294 Reviews
THE BROS
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Reviews: 294
Hads: 590
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 10.62%
Wants: 14
Gots: 48 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Summit Brewing Company visit their website
Minnesota, United States

Style | ABV
American Porter |  5.60% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: ADR on 03-04-2002

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 294 | Hads: 590
Photo of scot_chale
4.23/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A- Beautiful beer. Very dark brown, almost black. A 1/4" head that hangs out.

S- Sweet malt and nutty- not very pronounced though. You really have to jam your nose in to get the aroma.

T- I could hang out with this beer. It's got great flavor- coffee, chocolate, coffee, malty, and a very faint hoppiness, but it's balanced and easy drinking. It's on the "session" side of American Porters, but it is far from watery or thin. I would give it a 5 if the hop bitterness dried up a little sooner, but that's the only improvement I'd like to see.

M- Medium carbonation, medium body, and leaves a silky sort of texture. it's not dry, and the flavor that hangs out is very delightful.

O- Best american porter that I've had so far. Simply delicious, sessionable, and traditional all at the same time. I really love this beer. I would buy a case and pick through it all winter. (874 characters)

Photo of SerialHiker
3/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a deep, dark brown…Khaki colored head is about an inch thick…(3/5)

Smell: Chocolate, sweet dark fruits, roasted malts…(3/5)

Taste: Roasted malts with some sweetness...a touch of chocolate…earthy hops bitterness comes midway…a bit creamy and smoky at the same time…(3/5)

Mouthfeel: Medium feel and carbonation…there is a bit of fluff there that does present mild bitterness, creaminess and chocolatiness…toasted after taste…(3/5)

Overall: It’s good, but not great…the roasted malts are nice but go too far and leaves all other flavors behind…it looks and smells fantastic…I will say, it does taste better after a spell out of the fridge...the chocolate flavor strengthens and does more to balance out the malts…it’s a much better beer 20 minutes into the experience…(2.75/5) (827 characters)

Photo of wiscokid920
4.13/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12oz Bottle poured into pint glass

A- Dark, cola colored with a 1 finer tan fluffy head with excellent retention and lacing.

S- Coffee, chocolate, and Roasted Malts. Smells delicious!

T- Light sweetness with mild bitterness. Coffee, roasted malts, and dark chocolate.
Absolutely delicious!

M- Medium bodied, nice carbonation, creamy smooth finish.

O- I really enjoyed this one. Excellent all around. A superb offering! (424 characters)

Photo of RickS95
3.3/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The beer is a looker. Fills the glass with an extremely dark brown color. Around the edge, there are some lighter shades of red. The head is a couple fingers of fluffy off-brown bubbles. Good retention, minutes worth, and a killer lace left behind.

Lots of malt greets the nose, caramel mostly. A bit of smoke and the slightest hit of coffee round out the scents.

Malt and hops greet the tongue with that bit of coffee making an impression.

It lacks the sweetness I was looking for in a porter, tasting a bit more like a stout. More bitter that I was hoping for and none of it was offset by the malts. The bitterness coats the tongue and continues well into the swallow.

Looks and smells better than it tastes. I don't want a lot of bitter in darker beers, especially from a porter. Could use more heat and bite from the alcohol. (835 characters)

Photo of SolipsismalCat
4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass.

A: Dark red-brown with giant three-finger, tan, creamy head that lasted a long time. Great lacing.

S: Coffee and chocolate. Roasted malt.

T: Light to moderate sweetness and light bitterness. Chocolate and coffee and roasted malt matches the nose.

M: Medium bodied with fizzy carbonation. Smooth.

O: Nice porter. The look and smell were especially appealing. (388 characters)

Photo of JuicesFlowing
3.8/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a balloon glass.

The beer is a dark cola black with brown only coming through on the edges. A cream colored head recedes quickly to a film and random bubbles. Light webbed lacing sticks to the glass.

The nose has something spicy about it with some black licorice coming through. Also barley and dark roasted malts are detected.

The taste starts out with some syrupy sweetness. Right through the middle there's again a little bit of a spicy component, but mostly roasted malts and bitter chocolate presents itself. The finish is rich and dry with some biter hops finally coming through.

The mouthfeel is carbonated and dry.

Overall, this porter has a not of spice in it, not unlike cinnamon. Spicier and sweeter than most porters, yet still has the biter coffee and chocolate components as well. (811 characters)

Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a dark brown color with a tan head. The aroma is full of chocolate and roasted malt, with a hint of sweetness. The flavor is very nice. I get some bitter chocolate notes, as well as a hint of chocolate and some roasted malt. The beer is fairly sweet, with some brown sugar notes coming through in the flavor. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. A very nice porter. (384 characters)

Photo of JamesMN
3.9/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Opaque black with just a hint of dark brown hue on the edges. Light brown one finger head.

Aroma: Roasted coffee and chocolate. Definitely malt forward.

Taste: The roasted coffee from the nose comes through as bitter black coffee. A nice roasty presence on the edge of the palate. Ends with the coffee bitterness.

Mouthfeel: A little on the thin side and easily drinkable.

Final Thoughts: This beer has everything going for it in the appearance and aroma departments but falls a little short on taste. Still a very solid porter! (547 characters)

Photo of RoamingGnome
3.91/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 oz bottle into pint glass. Served slightly chilled.

A) Nice looking Porter brown. A gentle pour still yielded a nearly 3 finger head over the top of the pint. A nice rocky head remained for the duration, looked like a root beer float. Nice lacing too.

S) Pretty mild aroma, but there was some roasted malt, along with a slightly sweet scent of caramel, perhaps maple syrup. It was a little oaky/earthy.

T) Near the nose but more flavor than indicated above. There is a nice coffee presence, and a earthy hop bitterness. The finish and aftertaste are a slightly charred/roasted.

M) Medium body, about the same for carbonation. Really quite smooth and creamy.

O) Quite a nice porter. A very easy drinker, and a solid option if you are in the mood for this style. Glad to recommend. (799 characters)

Photo of frankiepop
3.93/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is a nice dark sweet and smooth porter. This is not an over do it type of porter. This is well balanced for smoothness. So what goes with this dark smoothie? I would listen to either Miles Davis Bitches Brew recording or Queen Latifah's Dana Owen cd. (255 characters)

Photo of StoutHunter
4.15/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I picked up a bottle of Summit's Great Northern Porter last week for $1.49 at The Lager Mill. I tried their Horizon Red Ale a couple days ago and I thought it was pretty good, so I'm Interested to see how this beer turns out, lets see how it goes. No visible bottling date, but I think it's pretty fresh. Poured from a shorter brown 12oz bottle into a imperial pint glass.

A- The label is pretty much the same as the Red Ale, just with a dark background, simple and pretty plain. It poured a nice dark black color that only had a really slight ruby hue when held to the light and it had three fingers worth of fluffy darker tan head that died down to a thin layer that stayed till the end and left lots of nice spotty lacing. This is a damn good looking American Porter, there's not a thing wrong with it.

S- The aroma starts off with tons or heavily roasted malts that have a medium amount of sweetness impart lots of nice roasty aromas with coffee sticking out the most giving this beer a pretty mocha like aroma, there was also some caramel, milk chocolate, lightly charred aroma. After that I get a nice cream like aroma followed by a little bit of molasses. This beer had great aroma that had all the things I look for in an American Porter, and the aroma was pretty complex, I can't stop smelling it.

T- The taste seems to be pretty similar to the aroma. It starts off with loads of roasted malts that have a lower amount of medium sweetness and impart all the nice roasted aspects that I got in the aroma, but it's still the coffee that sticks out the most giving this beer a mocha latte like flavor when mixed with the chocolate, caramel and cream flavors. On the finish I get a slight nutty flavor with hardly any bitterness with a roasty and creamy aftertaste. This is a good tasting American Porter that is heavy on the coffee, I like it.

M- Pretty smooth, a little rich, pretty creamy, on the thick side of being medium bodied, with a higher amount of medium carbonation. The mouthfeel was good but I thought that the carbonation could be toned down just a little, but it wasn't a big deal.

Overall I thought that this was a pretty good beer and a good and above average example of an American Porter, it had all those great Porter flavors and aromas that I look for in the style and it had some added complexity that made for one great beer. This beer had pretty good drinkability, it went down smooth, and it wasn't that filling with more then enough flavors and complexity to hold my attention, I could drink a couple of these when in the mood, and the price is right. What I liked most about this beer was the aroma and appearance, both were really well done and the complexity was pretty nice also. What I liked least about this beer the slightly higher then normal carbonation, but it wasn't a big deal and didn't really hurt this beer. I would for sure buy this beer again, it tastes good and it's well priced, I see more of this in my future, I highly recommend this beer to any Porter lover, it wont disappoint. I was pretty impressed with this beer, it's a great example of an American Porter that is almost as good as Founder's Porter, which doesn't happen often. This was my second beer from Summit, and I have to that I am pretty impressed with them, both of the beers I have tried from them have been nothing less then solid and are both beers that I would have no problem with drinking regularly, you guys can brew some pretty good beer, you can be sure that I will keep an eye out for more beers from Summit, great job. (3,553 characters)

Photo of LXIXME
4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I poured this from about an inch above the glass and was rewarded with a medium to big light brown head with nice carbonation above a clear dark dark reddish brown colored beer.

Coffee and light mocha rich aroma.

Light coffee is blended with with a rich roasted light dark chocolate malt taste.

A medium to full bodied beer that leaves a slightly bitter smooth dry aftertaste.

This was a pretty good glass of beer, well worth seeking out some summit stuff. (460 characters)

Photo of kjyost
4.05/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle acquired from a friend who bought a sampler pack in Minneapolis. Poured ~4C into a small sleeve. Beer warmed to almost room temperature over the session.

A: Deep brown, clear with ruby red edges and a small tan head that laces very lightly and descends to a ring.
S: Coffee, molasses, roasted malts and an underlying caramel sweetness.
T/M: Very well rounded. Sweetness with hints of burnt sugar along with tons of coffee and cocoa notes. Very light bitterness that lets the sweetness carry the day. Very enjoyable.
O: For my only beer of the night a welcome treat that I wasn't expecting much from. Shared some similarities with stouts, but overall a nice brew no matter what you call it. (697 characters)

Photo of jimmah120
3.95/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle with no date

Pours almost completely black, but is semi transparent when held up to light. Sudsy mocha head with OK lacing. Smell is roasted coffee, toffee, oak tones. Taste is same as the nose: roasty malted toffee, cocoa powder, with biscuity oak flavor and a tinge of hop bitterness. Mouthfeel is decent, could be creamier.

Good porter from summit, with a great price. (385 characters)

Photo of bmike86
4.7/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I picked up a 12 pack from Big Top in Minnetonka.

Appearance --- Dark brown with about 2 fingers worth of a creamy tan head, with a bit of lacing left.

Smell --- Really enjoyable smell, appeared to be of chocolate, possibly coffee as well, and roasted malt.

Taste --- Slightly bitter, with subtle blends of what appeared to be coffee, chocolate, possibly caramel, and nuts.

Mouth feel --- Medium bodied, dry feel, with some carbonation

Overall --- As person that appreciates all sorts of porters, especially the Baltic & American types… I am a huge fan of Summit’s Great Northern Porter. I think it is their best bottled beer, even though my favorite type of Summit is their Oatmeal Stout (that you can only find on tap). A recommendation for people that are trying this for a first time, during my sitting, I noticed a difference between the aroma & taste from the first beer that came directly from the fridge, and the second beer which I let sit on the counter to warm for a few minutes. I recommend refrigerating it, but there is a more enjoyable complexity in regards to the aroma and taste, when you pull it out of the fridge and let it sit on the counter for a few minutes before drinking. The beer appears to become a bit more active, which was a plus to me. I am fortunate to live in Minnesota these days, to have access to their Great Northern Porter, while living in other Midwest cities I was only able to really enjoy/access their flagship beer, the EPA. It is even better on tap, but hard to find on tap in Twin Cities. My only request would be to have this more easily accessible on tap in the Twin Cities whether it be at bars or sporting events. (1,671 characters)

Photo of deebo
2.46/5  rDev -36.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

A-Pours a clear black with 2 fingers of thick tan head that laces the pint glass.

S-Toasted/burnt barley malt.

T-Definitely some dark malt in here, hints of burnt coffee giving a bitter finish.

M-Medium bodied (malty not creamy) and carbonated. Watery finish.

D-Ok, but I don't think I want another.

O-Nothing special here, 1 dimensional, not very flavorful or complex. (374 characters)

Photo of scratch69
3.1/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I poured a bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance- Dark brown with a fingers worth of tan head. Quite a bit of lacing.

Smell- Chocolate and roasted malt.

Taste- Bitter char and smokiness. Just a hint of chocolate.

Mouthfeel- Medium bodied and slightly watery. Decent amount of carbonation.

Overall- Nothing special, just an average porter. A little too bitter for my tastes. (377 characters)

Photo of tone77
3.23/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a black color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of coffee and chocolate. Taste is coffee up front, some chocolate, on the bitter side, and a little to much coffee flavor for my liking. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is a decent beer but nothing special. (303 characters)

Photo of confer
3.06/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I like the squat style bottles. This beer looks like a porter should. It has a chestnut brown color with a nice tan head that hangs around as a frothy cap.
The smell is all roasted malts and it smells more ash tray than smokey malts.
The taste is bordering on ash tray as well, with a finish that is too watery.
Overall I'm not impressed. I have one more to drink and I sure I won't be looking for this one again. (413 characters)

Photo of bjohn84
3.4/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 2 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Thin head, beer is deep chocolate brown with a red/amber hue at certain angles

S - Chocolate is most prevelant, with roasted malts, has a sweetness to it

T - Much more bitter than the smell leads on. Burnt caramel and burnt sugars come through. Little chocolate flavor comes through in taste. Finishes with a dry black coffee flavor

M - Mouthfeel is on the drinkable side, especially for a porter. Medium to medium low stickiness in the mouth

O - Nice flavor overall, but may be a little too light bodied for the style. Find it strange how the sweet chocolatey aroma is drastically different than the taste (614 characters)

Photo of Pintofbrown
3.97/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this Great porter in a shaker pint.

Appearance- The head is thin and beige in color, but unfortunately dies very quickly to a ring. The body is an opaque, dark brown.

Smell- This has a nice, slightly roasty and chocolate profile. Maybe a little earthy, it could just be the coffee roast.

Taste- That roast is the first thing on the palate. The sweeter cocoa and more defined coffee roast evolves from the straight roast as the drink rolls over the tongue.

The finish shifts back to the roasted malt and loses the sweetness a little bit.

Mouth feel- This one is a nice medium body, but a little too watery. That does not help in a beer that is so roasty.

Overall- This beer is one you really need to let warm up, or you will never have a clue that this has such a nice powdered cocoa profile.

The mouth feel is good, but on a porter, it could be so much better. (877 characters)

Photo of Reaper16
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle served into a nonic pint glass

Pours a really nice burnt umber color. It's deep brown with red tones seamlessly blended throughout. One finger of khaki head yields suitable spindles of lacing. This is a textbook looking porter. Great stuff.

It maintains its quality throughout the nose. Milk chocolate for days, as well as some dark chocolate powder. That is a thing that probably doesn't even exist, but that's what came to mind. It parlays into the heavy roast malt here, which I'm always a fan of. Some noble hops are there in the background, but the malts overpower them. Still, this is a pleasure to smell.

All that chocolate doesn't translate over to the palate (though I suppose if ALL of it did then this would taste more like an American Stout). The taste is mostly brown malt upfront. Almost a cola component as well. The roast begins to peek through on the midpalate, before transitioning it's bitterness to a bitter finish of hop flavor. It's quite good.

The body is fine. It's a touch too prickly with carbonation, and there's a slight watery feeling on the edges of the tongue, but I'm nitpicking. Overall, this is a damn good porter. Damn good. Summit does the style proud here. (1,211 characters)

Photo of zaphodchak
3.03/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

In a lame plastic cup at O'Hare.

A finger of tan head, deep brown body.

Deep roasty malt in the nose.

Roasty, almost charred taste. Chocolate at front, bitter later, slight dropoff before the finish, which is a faint hops aftertaste.

Pretty smooth.

Average-good porter. (274 characters)

Photo of NuclearDolphin
2.94/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a 12oz Tumbler Glass

Appearance - Black, so black that I can see my reflection on the glass. Porters don't really get much darker than this. Has a 2 finger width head with a tan color look to it. Lacing is decent on the sides, though it tends to thin out just a little bit

Smell - Chocolate and Coffee mixed in with a pungent burnt malty scent. There's also some caramel and roasted malt smells in here too. In general, it's pretty sweet smelling for a porter.

Taste - Burnt and Roasted Malts with some black coffee, perhaps a little too much more than it ought to be. The chocolate that was present in the smell is nowhere near as prevalent as it is in the flavor. Aftertaste is a rather bitter burnt coffee flavor and not quite in a good way

Mouthfeel - It's pretty heavy bodied but the carbonation is average. Overall, you could do worse.

Overall - I'm used to Porters that strike a balance in terms of their flavor and sadly this one doesn't fit that description. There's nothing really terribly offensive about this beer, but somethings not right when your smell is alot better than your taste. (1,116 characters)

Photo of mdcrouser
3.91/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Creamy tan head - like pancake batter on a cylinder of charred bread. For some imposing, for me inviting. I love the look of that beer.

Dark malts, little hops on the nose.

Chocolate, coffee, charcoal, and other dark notes - nothing fruity though. Just a hint of alcohol to close - almost like what you get at the close of a coally vodka. That close draws down an otherwise enjoyable beer.

Smooth, low carbonation allows the darkness to sit and linger.

Enjoyable beer - not great, but definitely a good warmer for the ABV. (530 characters)

Summit Great Northern Porter from Summit Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 294 ratings.